Black and White Imaging: Ilford’s Perspective

Black and White Imaging: Ilford's Perspective

by George Schaub

Given that we all have seen a shrinking in silver-based materials in general in the last year, and in light of Kodak exiting the black and white paper business, and Agfa leaving the black and white (and all photo) business altogether, we were all left wondering about the future of the medium. Would inkjet dominate all? Well, we recently received this dispatch from the folks at Ilford, and while one has to separate out the usual public relations bravado it does speak pretty directly to their growth and their optimism about the future. We reprint it unedited to give you a sense of how these things read when they come across our desk and how these folks see the future. We are quite delighted that this venerable company is doing well and that they will continue to supply us with materials in the future.
--George Schaub

"This year's Photokina exhibition in Cologne (26 Sept - 1 Oct) promises to be the most successful event in the illustrious history of this event, with more exhibitors, more visitors, and more of everything which makes the photo imaging sector tick. Contributing to that success will be a major presence by HARMAN technology and ILFORD Photo (stand C36/38, Hall 10.1) making its first appearance at the show since the company's reconstruction.

"Much has occurred in the black-and-white photographic sector, as it has in the entire industry, since the last staging of Photokina in 2004. The timing of this year's show could not be better timed for ILFORD Photo and parent company HARMAN technology, for with the company's rapid strengthening of all aspects of its business, from manufacturing, world class R&D, and distribution around the globe, to student and customer support, and marketing, it is fully ready to participate with confidence and enthusiasm to again lead the world in the mono photography field.

"Taking primary position on the ILFORD Photo stand will be ILFORD GALERIE FB DIGITAL paper which is making its world debut at Photokina. This is the only paper in the world utilizing ILFORD Photo's fiber base material which can be exposed in digital laser printers, providing the opportunity to create genuine silver gelatin prints from digital images.

"As will be seen from the giant images printed out on GALERIE FB DIGITAL paper displayed on the stand, the baryta base produces an extremely white, smooth finish with a professional handle, which makes this the ideal medium for exhibition and Fine Art print.

"The timing for this launch has come together so well in coinciding with Photokina," says ILFORD Photo marketing director Howard Hopwood. "Photokina is the perfect showcase for major new directions in photo imaging, and our ILFORD GALERIE FB DIGITAL paper is certainly that.

"While other photographic paper manufacturers have introduced versions of their products for output via digital printers, none has the baryta fiber-base construction which has long stood ILFORD Photo papers in such good stead."

"This new launch follows the successful introduction earlier in the year of ILFOSPEED RC DIGITAL, a premium resin-coated black-and-white panchromatic paper which combines the famous ILFORD silver halide technology with a new coating to enable the highest quality continuous tone black-and-white images to be output from digital files, details of which will also be available.

"The ILFORD Photo stand will show many of the other unique products which represent the company's total involvement in monochrome photography. These will include, for example, the paper developers - ILFORD HARMAN Warmtone Developer and ILFORD HARMAN Cooltone Developer - which utilize the latest photochemical technology for perfect prints, while ILFORD HARMAN selenium toner will be demonstrated, illustrating the artistry and versatile tonal range of a monochrome print.

"ILFORD Photo's benchmark black-and-white film HP5 will be there, along with other types of film which provide the serious photographer with a wide choice of format, emulsions and speed to meet all requirements, while the ILFORD Black-and-White Single-Use-Camera caters for those times when a full camera system is not convenient or appropriate.

"For those who use ILFORD film but do not have the facilities for processing and printing, ILFORD Photo's process-paid black-and-white film service is proving a boon. Called 'ILFORD PREMIUM DIRECT - the real black-and-white developing and printing service by mail', this service enables photographers to easily have their film processed to the highest standards.

"So, just as Photokina will once again be setting the standard as the global information and communication platform of the imaging sector, ILFORD Photo and HARMAN technology will be providing visitors with the latest techniques, products, applications and services relative to the black-and-white photographic sector. It is an occasion not to be missed.

For more detailed information on the full range of fine black-and-white products from ILFORD Photo, visit"